Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More on Precautionary Labelling

One of the questions in the Health Canada questionnaire on labelling has really got me thinking.

It asks how you view food in the absence of one of the various precautionary warnings, like "may contain." That is, do you consider them safe?

Both my husband and I do. We read the ingredients label first, and then any additional precautionary statements before deciding if a packaged food is safe for DJ. We've always assumed that if an offending ingredient - in DJ's case, peanuts and all tree nuts - is not listed and there is no precautionary warning, that the item is okay. We've never required an item to have a peanut-free symbol on it, although it certainly makes shopping easier.

I'm wondering how other parents of PA kids, or PA sufferers themselves, handle the lack of a precautionary warning. Do you consider that item safe, or not?


  1. For our family, I prefer to call a company if I'm in doubt of whether or not there is a contamination issue with peanuts. Just b/c there is no warning on a package doesn't mean that there is no risk.

    I think it is so backwards for companies to say "if the warning isn't on the package there's no risk". Not all companies use that same rule of thumb so you really need to know which companies do and which don't. I'd prefer all companies to still have "Contains" as well as "May Contains" allergen information on all their packages. If there is no issue then put 'nil' or something like that.
    We are very cautious about what products we buy, read and re-read labels but I really wish the Canadian gov't would make a hard and fast ruling on the whole 'may contain' issue. Giving us all of the information so we can make informed, safe decisions for our kids is needed.

  2. I personally am not comfortable with no labelling, I had been buying some yogourt covered raisins (Mariani (?)) that didn't have any warnings. About 9 months ago we found out our oldest (5yr) was anaphylactic to peanuts, so I went crazy calling or looking up websites of every company of our regular purchases. Anyhow, the label on the website did list the potential for cross contamination, and when I contacted the company they said they would be updating their packaging at some point. I don't know if they did, since I stopped buying them altogether. Everyone has their own comfort level, but since I border between cautious and paranoid, I double & triple check everything. Great blog, I'll bookmark it so I can visit regularly. :)